When you’re looking at a cosmetic product, the best way to check the quality is to read the label.
Most importantly, we recommend that you look at the ingredients.
Ingredients descriptions are written according to an international system known as INCI (the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients).
There are two nomenclature systems: one is European (EU INCI) and the other is American (US INCI, formerly called the CTFA INCI).
That is why many product ingredient lists include dual descriptions, e.g. “Aqua (Water)”.
Many plant-derived ingredients have a Linnaean name (from Linnaeus), of Latin origin. For instance, sweet almond oil will be listed as “Prunus dulcis oil (sweet almond oil)”.
Italian Law 713/86 demands that ingredients be listed by order of percentage of content, from largest to smallest, down to 1%.
Ingredients that account for less than 1% of a product may be listed in any order.
The essential thing is to pay close attention to the first 4 or 5 ingredients. The others probably account for less than 1% of the product and are therefore of little importance.
The first ingredient is usually water, following which you must check the next ingredients carefully.
If there are a series of plant extracts, beware: their presence is not relevant and often serves to lend a semblance of naturalness.
We recommend that you check carefully, relying on sites such as www.biodizionario.it (t.n. an Italian dictionary of organic ingredients) to help you.
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